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Factory

Regular price $ 13.95

by Hiroko Oyamada, translated by David Boyd

New Directions Publishing

10/29/2019, paperback

SKU: 9780811228855

 

The English-language debut of one of Japan's most exciting new writers, The Factory follows three workers at a sprawling industrial factory. Each worker focuses intently on the specific task they've been assigned: one shreds paper, one proofreads documents, and another studies the moss growing all over the expansive grounds. But their lives slowly become governed by their work--days take on a strange logic and momentum, and little by little, the margins of reality seem to be dissolving: Where does the factory end and the rest of the world begin? What's going on with the strange animals here? And after a while--it could be weeks or years--the three workers struggle to answer the most basic question: What am I doing here?

With hints of Kafka and unexpected moments of creeping humor, The Factory casts a vivid--and sometimes surreal--portrait of the absurdity and meaninglessness of the modern workplace.

Reviews:
"In a wry, deadpan style, she distills the profound unease of a world where companies grow more and more imperceptibly controlling even as they promise workers less." --Julian Lucas

"[D]ecidedly experimental and subliminally philosophical, it best fits someplace between anti-capitalist science fiction and magic realism." --Andreea Scridon

About the author:
Born in Hiroshima in 1983, Hiroko Oyamada won the Shincho Prize for New Writers for The Factory, which was drawn from her experiences working as a temp for an automaker's subsidiary. Her novel The Hole won Akutagawa Prize.

David Boyd is Assistant Professor of Japanese at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has translated stories by Genichiro Takahashi, Masatsugu Ono and Toh EnJoe, among others. His translation of Hideo Furukawa's Slow Boat won the 2017/2018 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (JUSFC) Prize for the Translation of Japanese Literature. With Sam Bett, he is cotranslating the novels of Mieko Kawakami.